As Europe’s tech startup ecosystem continues to grow up, so does the venture capital that underpins it. London’s Balderton Capital has promoted long-standing General Partner Bernard Liautaud, who joined the firm in mid-2008, to the newly created role of Managing Partner.
Until now the VC had operated an entirely flat partner structure — although in terms of deal flow and investment decisions, this will remain, with each full Partner carrying an equal vote — but in his new role Liautaud tells me he’ll lead Balderton’s overall strategy. Specifically this will mean overseeing its own fundraising and things like the operational support the firm has in place to help out portfolio companies.
The VC currently has a number of dedicated staff in the areas of finance and legal, hiring, and PR, in addition to the operational expertise each partner brings. In fact, Balderton now counts eight investment partners, five of which have been added in the last couple of years.
Two years prior it made Suranga Chandratillake, founder of internet media company blinkx, a General Partner, after he spent 10 years largely based in Silicon Valley. And in late 2013, long-time partner Daniel Waterhouse left Wellington Partners to join Balderton Capital also as a General Partner.
Meanwhile, Liautaud’s resume is impressive. Prior to joining Balderton Capital, he founded Business Objects in 1990 where he remained CEO for fifteen years, and was then Chairman until SAP’s $6.8 billion acquisition of the company in 2008. He’s also a member of the Board of Trustees of Stanford University, which, to his amusement, I suggested was quite a coup for a European VC, even if Liautaud is an alumnus.